Zenith hydrostatic delay (ZHD) is a crucial parameter in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) navigation and positioning and GNSS meteorology. Since the Saastamoinen ZHD model has a larger error in China, it is significant to improve the Saastamoinen ZHD model. This work first estimated the Saastamoinen model using the integrated ZHD as reference values obtained from radiosonde data collected at 73 stations in China from 2012 to 2016. Then, the residuals between the reference values and the Saastamoinen modeled ZHDs were calculated, and the correlations between the residuals and meteorological parameters were explored. The continuous wavelet transform method was used to recognize the annual and semiannual characteristics of the residuals. Because of the nonlinear variation characteristics of residuals, the nonlinear least squares estimation method was introduced to establish an improved ZHD model—China Revised Zenith Hydrostatic Delay (CRZHD)—adapted for China. The accuracy of the CRZHD model was assessed using radiosonde data and International GNSS Service (IGS) data in 2017; the radiosonde data results show that the CRZHD model is superior to the Saastamoinen model with a 69.6% improvement. The three IGS stations with continuous meteorological data present that the BIAS and RMSE are decreased by 2.7 and 1.5 (URUM), 5.9 and 5.3 (BJFS), and 9.6 and 8.8 mm (TCMS), respectively. The performance of the CRZHD model retrieving PWV was discussed using radiosonde data in 2017. It is shown that the CRZHD model retrieving PWV (CRZHD-PWV) outperforms the Saastamoinen model (SAAS-PWV), in which the precision is improved by 44.4%. The BIAS ranged from −1 to 1 mm and RMSE ranged from 0 to 2 mm in CRZHD-PWV account for 89.0% and 95.9%, while SAAS-PWV account for 46.6% and 58.9%.
Zenith hydrostatic delay (ZHD) is one of the most important parameters in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) navigation and positioning and GNSS meteorology, which can be derived from a precise ZHD model due to its stability. This research established an improved ZHD model for China to obtain accurate ZHD, which is a prerequisite for pinpoint precipitable water vapor (PWV) retrieval. And the PWV value is beneficial to analyze the change in precipitation in some regions, forecast the short-term rainfall, and monitor the climate.
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